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2023 Symposium

All Aboard!


October 18–20, 2023

Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors!

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Join Us

The 2023 First Place Global Leadership Institute Symposium is on track to drive change.

Plans for a new marketplace of housing and community options are picking up steam. Momentum for more equitable healthcare is gaining. Workplace acceptance is charging forward. The bridge to lifelong learning is taking shape.

During the 2023 First Place Global Leadership Institute Symposium, we will work together and add fuel to these powerful engines of progress. Join us for this energizing event and remarkable journey. All aboard!

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  Agenda & Details  

2–5 p.m. (PDT)

In Person Only

Home Development: Home is where it all starts

Navigate the landscape through demonstrated tools and processes helping you build in less time, with less risk and for long-term sustainability. Be that breakthrough property in your community that leads to a wave of solutions.

2–5 p.m. (PDT)

In Person Only

Workplace & Workforce Development: Neurodiverse solutions solving neurotypical problems

Beyond accommodations, it’s about game-changing opportunities impacting bottom lines and invigorating business culture in positive ways.

2–5 p.m. (PDT)

In Person Only

Lifelong Learning: From home, classrooms and throughout the community

Learning takes place where we live, work, have fun and thrive—and with peers, friends and family where natural consequences provide valued, fortifying lessons.

2–5 p.m. (PDT)

In Person Only

Health Starts at Home: Through a healthcare equity lens

Expanding access to health and wellness for neurodiverse adults requires expanding education, expertise and collaboration. Join us in ensuring no one goes untreated or is medically misunderstood because of autism and/or other intellectual/developmental disabilities (A/I/DD).

2–5 p.m. (PDT)

In Person Only

Mental Health, Public Safety & the Law: Ever-increasing life-changing impact

Learn what's needed to educate law enforcement, correctional officers and court staff on how to work with autistic and intellectually/developmentally disabled individuals to avoid issues at the time of arrest, during the judicial process and throughout incarceration. Join the conversation.

2–5 p.m. (PDT)

In Person Only

Supportive Policy & Infrastructure: Increasing access to housing and supportive communities

Identify needs and preferences through population and market segmentation, data collection and analysis positioned to shape policies and funding mechanisms.

2–5 p.m. (PDT)

In Person Only

Data Counts: Focus on both individual and community impact

Trailblazing is hard work. On the right path? Engaging others to join you? Hear from researchers and community builders creating gateways for exploration and expansion.

2–5 p.m. (PDT)

In Person Only

Community Development: Building the ecosystem

Coupling is required for building and sustaining a supportive community. You can’t build it alone. From education and healthcare to transportation and public safety, they fortify us to live healthier, more connected lives. Fortify yourself and others to go the distance.

Thursday, October 19, 2022
8:30 a.m.– 8:30 p.m. PDT (In Person) / 11:30 a.m.– 6:45 p.m. EDT (Online)

8:30 a.m. (PDT)

In Person & Online

Promising & Innovative Models: One First Leads to the Next

  • Strategies for Fueling a Marketplace of Options
  • Snapshots from Across the Country

  • Denise D. Resnik

    Founder & President/CEO, First Place AZ ;
    Co-Founder, SARRC and Matt’s Mom

    brad herron-valenzuela

    Director, First Place Global Leadership Institute Center for Education, Training & Employment

    3:45 p.m. (PDT)

    In Person Only


    5:30–8:30 p.m. (PDT)

    In Person Only

    Evening of Expression, Exploration & Engagement
    Reception, Dinner & Keynote Speaker

    Healthier Outcomes: People, Places & Purpose – Keynote Speaker Dr. Thomas Insel, Former NIMH Director and Author of Healing: Our Path from Mental Illness to Mental Health.

    In addressing today's mental health crisis, Dr. Insel concludes that what the world needs now is not another pharmaceutical intervention but the three Ps: people, places and purpose.

    Enjoy a specially curated art exhibit by Calvin Shin, First Place Transition Academy graduate, along with a facilitated panel with Drs. Thomas Insel, Stephen Shore and Raun Melmed. The panel will discuss that co-occurring conditions for autistic people and those with Down syndrome and other intellectual/developmental disabilities are not uncommon and frequently manifest during adolescence and adulthood.

    Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004

    Additional Information
    for In-Person Attendance


    • Wednesday property & supportive community tour
    • Thursday evening reception, dinner & keynote speaker
    • Friday afternoon workshop
    • Networking
    • Meals

    Not Included

    • Airfare and airport ground transportation
    • Hotel

    We suggest Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix Downtown North. Use our group rate (good through Sunday, Sept. 17) and enjoy their complimentary breakfast.